The first discussion of the clinical work of Frances Tustin, this book considers her place in the tradition of psychoanalytic theory and thinking and the relevance and application of her work in other areas, such as learning disability. A clear picture of Tustin's position emerges for the reader as author Sheila Spensley elucidates key terms and concepts, showing how they link with much of Bion's work and with more recent contributions by Grotstein and Ogden.
Spensley draws on her breadth of experience in psychotherapy with both children and adults to add her own insights to the seminal findings of Frances Tustin. Examining autism from an evolutionary and biological point of view, she considers the possibility of autism as a "missing link" in the developmental chain of psychic growth and points to findings in autism which offer suppporting evidence for autistic "black holes" in adults.
"Frances Tustin" is about the life and work of an outstanding clinician whose understanding of autistic and psychotic children has illuminated the relationship between autism and psychosis. It offers the reader a fresh perspective on the importance of her contribution to our understanding of the development of the human mind.
Spensley's book is a valuable addition to the Routledge series on Makers of Modern Psychotherapy. Her well written and knowledgable exposition of Frances Tustin's life and ideas make it clear why Tustin should have been included. Within her book Tustin's ideas are shown, not only as a part of the history of psychoanalytic theory, but as a continuing inspiration.